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THE 1990s

Doctor Who was off the air for much of the 1990s, but independent toy companies continued to meet the demand from loyal fans.
Pages from a 1991 brochure illustrating Dapol’s range of Doctor Who action figures.
Pudsey, the Children in Need bear, hitches a lift on K9 during the making of Dimensions in Time (1993).

The first half of the 1990s was dominated by the continuing success of Dapol, who maintained a busy release schedule of plastic figures – even though the television series they were inspired by had ceased production. Some of Dapol’s earliest 1990s releases included an Ice Warrior and Davros, the later initially appearing with two arms rather than just one. There was an Ace figure, too, plus boxes and gift sets galore.

As a slight departure from its standard models, Dapol obtained the original moulds for the 1960s Louis Marx Daleks, producing a range of friction-drive Daleks in 1990 (in black, grey, red, silver and white colour schemes) together with a numbered and boxed run of bump-and-go Daleks in three different colours: black (numbered 1 to 2,500), silver (2,501 to 5,000) and red (5,001 to 7,500), followed later by a gold variant (7,501 to 10,000). As the decade progressed, so Dapol released more and more figures, including the Fourth Doctor (minus his hat and scarf), 20th and 21st Anniversary K9 toys, the Master, a Silurian, Gallifreyan High Councillors, the Third Doctor, a Sea Devil, a Sontaran, Melkur, and glittery Daleks and K9s in a variety of colours. Dapol even produced a transparent model TARDIS filled with Jelly Babies.

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About Doctor Who Magazine

In 1964 Dalekmania led to the birth of Doctor Who licensing, and it’s been with us ever since. The return of the series in 2005 prompted an even bigger range of merchandise, which this time invaded supermarkets as well as toy shops. In 2017 the popularity, and ingenuity, of these products continues unabated. This is the surprising story of Doctor Who toys and games – told by the people who make, sell and collect them.